Monday, March 29, 2010

What's Sex got to do with Love and Marriage?

Posted in: ,
A review of Perfect Picture (First published on AfrikanGoddess)

I recently saw and loved The Perfect Picture, a Sparrow Productions movie. It was directed by Shirley Frimpong Manso and starred Jackie Appiah, Lydia Forson, Chris Attoh, among others. Technically, I was impressed by the picture quality, it was well edited and the colors were sharp and made everyone look more attractive. The audio also was clean and not overshadowed by background music. The soundtrack was a mixture of both Ghanaian and foreign music, each well suited to the scene except for a brief clip of the James Bond theme which I felt was unnecessary. I was completely blown away by the two dance sequences especially the one at the end of the movie, it were simply great.

On the story angle, I was not too disappointed. There were a few holes but I liked how they wove the three strands of the plot concerning the major characters and their love interests together. The story is about three friends in urban Ghana living everyday middle-class lives. The film opens with a wedding footage of one of the girls, who is getting married to her long term boyfriend. She is surrounded by friends and family including her two best friends. Along the line, we get to see their lives. There is the earthly sexy one who all the men are attracted to, and the workaholic who is being pressured by her mother to get married and have children. The man-eater ends up falling for an unavailable man, while the more reserved one falls for an unsuitable man.

The three girls navigate their love lives with the flair and panache one would imagine for their ages – they seem in their thirties. OK, so maybe the dialogue was a bit corny in parts and predictable in others but for a romantic sucker like me, I didn’t really mind. I like that the producers were bold enough to make a movie that tackles the issue of sex in relationships front and center. The married one and her husband cope with getting used to each other in bed once again. Our well-endowed lady goes clubbing and sleeps with her man friend with no questions asked. Even the quiet one has sex with her lowly mechanic and declares it, the best she’s had. I think she added “ever” but I am not sure now, lol.

A summary of the movie I saw somewhere said that “Girls will not settle for anything less if love is not in the picture”. So we are left to assume that love makes the perfect picture of a relationship. Totally true but eh, not so fast! What about sex? Here I will focus on the married couple, Aseye and Larry. The sexual incompatibility between them is very true in some marriages and was addressed full on.

We see at their wedding that they are in love with each other. They had dated for years and been celibate for about a year while planning the wedding. The reason was “to make it fresh and new” in the marriage. So wedding night comes and, they couldn’t get past the awkwardness of sex. The scene was over extended and there may have been some exaggerated head bumps and inexplicable elbow nudges but we saw what could happen when a married couple cannot consummate their love relationship with sex. The actors (Jackie Appiah and Chris Attoh) did their best to portray the emotions even though the script could have been better.

The Perfect Picture shows that when the sexual advances by a man or a woman are turned down by their partners, they can sometimes view themselves as being poor lovers. A lot of people believe that their desirability is defined by the love they receive from their partners. So they take sexual rejection very personally, because their sense of self-worth has become coupled to approval from their partner. It is not different between Aseye and Larry. She is depressed and despairs, while he is frustrated by his erectile dysfunction and suffers a lowered self-esteem. There had been no prior history but the resulting stress does not help matters for both of them. Larry tries to ‘handle’ the trouble on his own without much success. Work also gets in the way when Aseye wants to spice things up.

In a perfect world of love, one would have expected Aseye to assume the role of an understanding mate, and attempt to motivate Larry to be optimistic so that they could deal with their problem together no matter how long it takes. However, like it sometimes happens in real life, she becomes difficult, antagonistic and blames him for what is happening to them both. She only stops short of directly denigrating his manliness. The doctor they consulted pointed out to them that a healthy and relaxed mind is very important for a mutually enjoyable sex life. They go on to try some of his tips but all are for naught. Aseye then arranges a switch with her sexy friend to see if her friend could arouse Larry.

There is a whole misunderstanding after this which forms the climax of the movie. Afterwards, the couple had to ask themselves the question; “can love go the distance without sex?” Their answer was no as they go their separate ways. Is that how it ends? Watch the movie and find out.

Before then I ask you my dear reader, what’s sex got to do with love?

If it were you, what would you do?

ps, check out the latest episode of Cupid's Risk by Spesh...


  1. Have been hearing about this film for a while, i better go and watch it.

  2. I have watched this movie.

    Like money, sex has got a lot to do with a marriage (let's stay there).
    It is an important factor that needs to be addressed if not going as planned. But again, like money, as much as it is high up there on the list, it should not be the determining factor. Intimacy is important in every marriage relationship and must be explored well. However, when sex, beauty and all those other{high up there} factors fade (if they do), only love and friendship will be the thick roots that cannot be unplucked.

  3. That means like I've always opined thatbetter sex before marriage is the best so everyone would know what the + and - is.

  4. hmm the movie seems interesting.. would love to watch it


  5. Now I want to see the movie too.

    That question will get different answers from readers: it all depends on our perspectives of the meaning of "love" between a man and woman. In a marriage, love has nothing to do with sex, but sex makes it even better. :)

  6. Thanks for the comments so far, please keep them coming.

    @Nakedsha, that's an interesting angle of looking at it. Can intimacy and sex actually be compared to beauty in the scheme of things?

    @Jaycee, I am actually looking forward to the different opinions. You say love has nothing to do with sex? Hmmm...

  7. Na wa o... Am I missing something? The movie was ok, but it was a glorified Nollywood film. The acting was bad i most places. Jackie Appiah and the guy who played her husband weren't bad but the movie no make am like that. I've seen loads of positive reviews about this film so I'm kinda confused...

    About the topic, I think it depends on the people involved. Some people are very sexual beings and cannot sacrifice that part of their relationship. Others can live with a bad sex life if all other parts of the relationship are working well... Different folks for different folks sha.

  8. Where did you watch the movie? I like the storyline, sounds like something I would love to see

  9. I feel like I am missing something. The movie wasn't all that... The acting was poor in many parts. Jackie Appiah and the guy who played her husband barely saved the day; many scenes were unnecessary ad laboured... Omo, the list long no be small... It was okay, but far from great. I don't get all these positive reviews the film is getting...

    Anyway, I feel the question of love versus sex all comes down to individual preference. Some people are very sexual in nature and can never sacrifice that part of their relationship for anything. Others can let a bad sex life slide if their partner has other positive qualities to bring to the table. It's all relative.

  10. now, i want to watch it..cos if they just stopped having sex a year b4 the wedding, it's safe to assume they'd been doing it for 6 years prior so the sudden incompatibility makes for a curious case..

    anyway,there various issues embedded int his 'sex thing' but my own is just don't marry someone with a high libido when u know u can go months without the urge..

  11. I watched the movie a while back, gud stuff! Hummm for now, I can say love has nothing to do with sex... who knows, i may be wrong.

  12. It's hard to say but I think it plays an important part. If a couple gets along eveywhere else except the bedroom, it's a psychological thing and like F said if you are sexual in nature and that need supercedes the "love" you have then it's gonna be hard to stay.

  13. *Scratches head* WHat will I do??

    Prolly buy him some viagra to begin with. That has GOT to solve sth no?

  14. I think sex would be very important in a marriage. If things are going astray the issue would need to be adressed quickly. Things like that give people reasons to stray.

  15. I think love has got noting to do with sex, seeing as the latter is a way of getting intimate with your partner, but if there's a lack of it...well one might surely break away, although its kinda difficult to really say.

  16. Well, I will say Love as got nothing to do with sex especially when marriage is not involved but within the confines of marriage, sex is vital as sex for me is not jst the physical contact but more of the spiritual, it not just the body but a tie of souls.
    I remember during my marriage counselling sex was considered as very important and vital in marriage.

  17. but they had sex before..they just decided to stop for one how can they be suddenly incompatible?

    I believe that sex is important..but its not enough to break up a marriage...if there are no communication issues...why cant they both tell each other what they like or do not like and discover and explore each other..???

  18. now i really want to see the movie.

    sex is very important in a marriage, sex is communication of some sort, i think its vital

  19. @ downtheaisle: seriously, babe, i don't see what is spiritual abt sex o. ha! yes, they say it in church all d time, but it don't make sense to me o. sex is a communion yes. & like an means of communication, somethings it can be fucked up if both parties r not on d same page. if one person is more sensual dan d other, & cannot stand bad sex (urs truly cannot stand bad sex!), DEFINITELY SEX HAS GOT EVERYTHING TO DO WITH MARRIAGE! What, do u want me to be longing for my pre-marriage days??? Yes, i said it. I like to be able to beat my hand on my chest & say dat my husband is better dan every other man i'd ever been with! That said, good sex isn't automatic as hollywood would make us understand. good sex is a process, u start from point A to work up to point Z.

  20. I would certainly not want to get married to someone only to find he sucks in bed and is not willing to do anything about it. Better Divorce for me than Adultery.

  21. In marriage, sex has got evritin to do wit love. Dat where bonding is initiated. A marriage wit dysfunctional sex life has low chances at infidelity esp wen partners aint wiling to help sort d issues. WIL GO LUK FOR DIS MOVIE.

  22. I would like to see this movie...I think sex is important in a marriage, and I guess that is why most people would love to "test drive" see if the sexual compatibility and chemistry is there. From what you wrote, in the movie it was not their first time so I think they both "knew" each other well and what they are capable of and so I don´t think divorce would be the way to go here.

  23. Nice insights and I'm taking away some of these.

    I think sex is important to love, if not outside but definitely within marriage. I was also confused by the fact that the couple in the movie had sex before but couldn't get their groove back on. but what do I know? One thing is for certain, different strokes for different folks.

    @Downtheaisle and FFF, I'm still working on understanding spiritual sex sha.

  24. that one year gap did it...bad bad bad decision.

  25. Funkola, I guess...

    How have you been?

  26. Am not a lover of nollywood films because they are great copy cats that do it shabbily & the films can be used as a tool in treating anger management!
    As i told waffarian in the blogville war that is going on in TITTEC, married women in 9ja don't talk about course BEDMATIC 101 even to their best friend! Alas!, since you said you had read my blog write-up,i would make an exception!
    Sex is the main ingredient in marriage every other one na supplementary! *wink* The stress of living in 9ja, had put pressure on couples that it does affect the bedroom!Alas! in my case, am Glad my bed is still HOT!

  27. Seen the movie and I agree with earlier posters - it wasn't all that!

    The sex issue may have been more believable for me if they had never slept with each other while dating. They had, then got married and without any pressures (kids, pregnancy, job issues, money worries), sex became a problem! Please!

    Sex can break a marriage and I learnt that the hard way. Love and your communication skills just fly out the window. I was quickly converted to the 'test-driving' school of thought to ensure that all is well before heading down the aisle.

  28. I think Sex is an important factor in marriage and in that context love and sex go hand in hand, cos even when a couple has issues in bed, they should be able to communicate to one another and seek proffessional help if neccessary rather than allow their disappointment lead to bigger issues. And to me, it has nothing to do with whether u were a pro or not before marriage...I wasn't one, but I can the 17months of marriage, hubby has been pleasantly surprised (wink) ... But that was bcos he was patient and willing to communicate.

    Yes, time would come when sex won't matter, but while it still matters, I believe sex is pretty important in marriage

  29. Sex is an important part of marriage, because It conects you to your patrner...Lack of it is like loving your brother or sister. Except one is talking platonic love I don't see the difference between sex and Love.

  30. Thanks for all the comments.

    @NG, always down to earth! I love your style.

    @Sisimi, I agree that it is really important, and can become bigger when other issues increase the pressure.

    @Jhazmyn, Yes oo, lol. Patience and communication is key.

    @Lara, sex really helps to cement romantic love.

  31. A question came to my mind while pondering on this issue.
    What if he had been in an accident and couldn't perform because of that, would people see it differently? And what is the difference? It's not like he is being unresponsive on purpose, in fact, she contributed to his continued unresponsiveness more than not. I'm not on the aye side here versus other people; it's just a question that I thought about.

    If a woman was paralyzed, in our demand for absolute love, most of us would expect the man to stick to us unwaveringly, after all marriage is not about sex or chidren etc etc.

    If we are willing to see our partners through therapy that comes with being paralyzed, why not therapy that comes with being impotent? Instead of being so ready to give up when things are not good.

    And this does not apply only to situations where there was no test drive ..... failure of "machinery" can happen to anyone at anytime based on different factors that can both be explainable and unexplainable.

    Anyways, like I said, I'm not on the for team nor on the against team; I'm just thinking beyond the black and white here.


Click Post a Comment to share your thoughts, I'll love to hear from you. Thanks!

*Comments on old posts are moderated and may take sometime to be shown. That's just because I want to see them and respond to you if necessary.